- Great news – Many of its best tiger (and most well visited) reserves are increasingly being well managed. Estimated at 2967 individual tigers – up from 1411 in 2006
- Big increases – in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakand and Karnataka,. Increases in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Assam too
- Bad news – Many states not managing tigers well – with total extinctions in states like Mizoram, West Bengal and Nagaland and declining numbers in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andra Pradesh. Tiger just hanging on in Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.
- New protected areas declared – up from 692 to 860 but this has had no effect on the amount of tiger habitat being used.
- BUT Remember – ALL tiger reserves were in trouble just 20 years ago – Now see which states and parks today have turned around that downward spiral – using a highly effective ‘wildlife dependant’ economy?
YES – The truth is the growth of nature tourism and its wildlife dependent economy for local communities living in and around parks – has been a critical tool in saving tigers and their habitats over the last twenty years. Its been ‘the wood that has allowed the conservation flames to burn bright ‘ – transforming lives and livelihoods in some of the most marginal and often neglected landscapes in India. Today many parks are hubs of rural economic development and enterprise – with once poor village communities being the key beneficiaries as our own study reports highlight. Nature tourism is very good for wildlife, for conservation, for communities and for the Forest Department – however good nature tourism is even better! Lets promote that – and work on making it far more sustainable than it presently is. Julian Matthews, Chairman TOFTigers